Written by Aarav Gupta, grade 9 student.
The rice production problem of North India is related to pollution, water scarcity, and increased electricity power usage.
Let’s start with pollution:
The pollution problem of North India mainly Punjab, Haryana and Delhi is more than the Diwali crackers, industrial pollution and vehicle emissions. This is partly true but there is more to it. The pollution problem in these regions is also because of the burning of rice waste. The government of Punjab issued the (The Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act) in 2009 which directs a 6 week of delay in the sowing of rice. This was for the preservation of water tables and it was because after this duration the most severe phase of evaporation in the soil is over.
However this act comes with its cons. Since the production of rice is delayed by 6 weeks the farmers are already late to grow the Rabi crop of the season. They don’t have the time to deal with the rice remains and as a result burn it. The burning of these lead to pollution. All of this can be dealt by scrapping the existing law.
Now let’s discuss the increased electricity & power usage aspect of it:
Rice is a crop which requires increased amount of electricity (power) and as well as high amounts of water. The farmers of Punjab and Haryana are growing too much rice. In fact at such a rate that it needs to be exported to foreign nations.
Last year’s rice requirement of India was 10.25 million tons. Whereas India’s production was 26 million tons. At such an increased rate of production India needed to export 12 tons of rice to foreign nations and that to at a subsidized rate for countries to buy. At least 70,000 tons of water is used to produce 1 ton of rice. So according to the math if India exports 12 million ton of rice, India also exports 84 billion tons of fresh water. Additional electric power shall also be added.
This shows how India is indirectly exporting water and electric power (considering the deprivation of both resource in India) to foreign nations at a subsidized rate when it sells its rice.
Let’s discuss the solution:
So the solution to the pollution problem caused by burning of rice leftovers can be dealt by scrapping The Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water act, so that famers can grow paddy at the natural time. Now let’s talk about what to do about the extreme growth of rice in these regions.
The reason why farmers don’t mind growing rice is because the government comes and takes the rice from them at fair prices. So rice needs to be replaced with maize. Of course not in large quantities but at a rate where we don’t have to export rice. Maize even though isn’t a popularly used grain in the food industry. It can be used to make ethanol, which promote the usage of natural emissions.
Written by Aarav Gupta, grade 9 student of Modern School. Aarav is a passionate writer. He’s been writing on Instagram (@unpop_opinion).
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